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Image for Neighbours gets first regular gay character

Neighbours gets first regulargay character

Neighbours is set to reveal its first regular gay male character.

Chris Pappas (played by 20yr-old James Mason), a fairly new addition to the cast at Ramsey Street, will come out as gay in an episode airing this week.

Last week’s episodes and a promo for the show hinted at the upcoming storyline and the revelation of a ‘secret’.

The iconic Australian drama which is one of the country’s biggest cultural exports, has featured a few short-term gay characters in the show before.

The first gay character to appear on the show was builder Andrew MacKenzie (played by John Morris) back in 1994. Then in 1995 schoolteacher Andrew Watson (played by Chris Uhlman) became a victim of student rumours and a campaign for his dismissal as a teacher by parents, for being gay. Other characters hinting at queer identity included hairdresser and musical theatre lover Gino (played by Shane McNamara).

However, the new gay storyline featuring teenage character Chris Pappas will be the first time in the show’s 25 year history that it will feature an ongoing regular gay character.

Home and Away’s lesbian storyline and kiss was one of the most talked about Australian TV drama topics last year, fueling much controversy and debate both within and outside of the queer community. It is anticipated that the teenage coming out story will attract the show similar significant attention, with some media commentators calling Neighbours decision to feature a queer direction as an obvious ratings grab and an attempt to out-gay Home and Away.

However, it was overwhelming requests from young viewers in online forums are what drove the development of the gay character and his coming out story, according to the executive producer of Neighbours, Susan Bower.

Bower told the Herald Sun that while lesbian romances had featured on shows like Home and Away and Neighbours, intimacy between men was still fairly taboo in Australian drama.

She told of how over the years Neighbours has withstood public criticism and condemnation in relation to their other controversial storylines that have included surrogacy, extra-marital affairs and teenage pregnancy, and that she expected that the new gay storyline would fare a similar fate.

“Neighbours is an icon, like Vegemite. People get very possessive about it,” she says.

“I do believe homophobia is still alive and well, and I have no doubt that we will get complaints about it.”

An emotional episode

UPDATED 10 August 2010:

Scenes broadcast on Monday night’s episode of Neighbours show high-school student Chris recording his emotional confession tape, before his guidance counselor guesses what his drama might be.

Watch clips from last night’s show below.

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Comments

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andrewc

andrewc said on the 8th Aug, 2010

http://www.australiannews.net/story/669460

Think he'll have a crack at Zeke?

ammonite

ammonite said on the 9th Aug, 2010

what is this James/Chris like - does he set off the smoke alarms?

Phazz

Phazz said on the 9th Aug, 2010

Is Steph going to give birth to this character? They can do what they do in other soapies. The kids age 18 years between episodes.

andrewc

andrewc said on the 9th Aug, 2010

He is already in the show... he is Summer's boyfriend... just started appearing, no back story or anything!

And Ammi... no need to take out the batteries of your smoke alarms!

eurolad

eurolad said on the 9th Aug, 2010

Yet again another white anglo character....
Sometimes I wonder if they are trying to recreate Hitler ideal world in this show

crazzymikey

crazzymikey said on the 9th Aug, 2010

Yet again another white anglo character....
Sometimes I wonder if they are trying to recreate Hitler ideal world in this show

well I guess the shows audience overseas wants to see what they think an australian looks like - personally I think they would be surprised to see how multicultural we are here. Especially asian characters.

furliebe

furliebe said on the 9th Aug, 2010

yay I had a feeling that he was

Phazz

Phazz said on the 9th Aug, 2010

I hope they reveal Paul Robinson's secret cross dressing fetish. There were reports of someone dressed as Madge from the Erinsborough Police Station.

jimjazz

jimjazz said on the 9th Aug, 2010

everybody needs good neighbours, unless they're gay.

andrewc

andrewc said on the 9th Aug, 2010

They had the Korean exchange student with an Aussie accent not that long ago.

skiwi

skiwi said on the 9th Aug, 2010

Geez you Aussies are slow we had a couple of gay charactors on Kiwi Soap Shortland Street 20years ago.
We also allow Civil unions xx

jimjazz

jimjazz said on the 9th Aug, 2010

Well you're right on the civil unions, skiwi, but we actually had a gay character on Number 96 back in the 60s not to mention a major film with russell crowe and jack thompson c alled the sum of us but none of this changes the fact that NZ has civil unions and OZ doesn't!

Light-Bearer

Light-Bearer said on the 9th Aug, 2010

You mean.... Lou Carpenter isn't gay??????

skiwi

skiwi said on the 9th Aug, 2010

i thought Howard was a closed gay lol

Light-Bearer

Light-Bearer said on the 9th Aug, 2010

If they really want to impress me- they'd get one of the female characters to convert to Islam. Burqua and all.

Axe82

Axe82 said on the 9th Aug, 2010

you can bet hard $ the kid will not be gay for long, unless the status quo has changed
the big shots at Neighbours don't like it gay for 2long

eliasfrown

eliasfrown said on the 9th Aug, 2010

I could not have picked a better character to be gay, I've had a thing for Chris since he first appeared on the show. Hope this one lasts.

Dion

Dion said on the 9th Aug, 2010

Will have to take a renewed interest in Neighbours.

Light-Bearer

Light-Bearer said on the 9th Aug, 2010

I wonder if Lou will try and ... you know.... touch him

coast_boy_21

coast_boy_21 said on the 9th Aug, 2010

According to SX:

"Story-lines over the coming weeks will include coming out and homophobia in sport. Chris is the captain of the school basketball team but once word he’s gay gets out to the other teams it turns nasty for him".

Sounds alot better than the Charlie and crappy Joey storyline that was on Home and Away.

ammonite

ammonite said on the 9th Aug, 2010



oh don't worry, it won't

coast_boy_21

coast_boy_21 said on the 9th Aug, 2010



I've just been to the official neighbours website and strangly enough they don't seem to acknowledge the character as there is no bio/profile of the character on the website, despite the fact that all the other characters have profiles. When other main characters come onto the show their profie apears normally straight away on the website and the character of Chris has been in the show for a while. Perhapes the webmaster is a little slow but it seems a bit odd that he is ignored.

crazzymikey

crazzymikey said on the 10th Aug, 2010



they are way behind us overseas, perhaps they dont post it for that reason?

so is he gay in real life?

ernesto_1

ernesto_1 said on the 10th Aug, 2010

he needs a love interest. i think i should play the bad boy.

andrewc

andrewc said on the 10th Aug, 2010

Did anyone catch it tonight???

Personally I thought the storyline was fairly realistic and I can empathise with the rumours! Will be interesting to see how things unfold!

Hi, My name is Andrew and I'm a Neighbours tragic!

Light-Bearer

Light-Bearer said on the 10th Aug, 2010

Yes I watched it.

you think you're a Neighbours tragic.

I've seen EVERY episode.
From when it was even on channel seven and Darius Perkins was Scott Robinson.

I'm an old bastard

crazzymikey

crazzymikey said on the 10th Aug, 2010

I stopped watching this show years ago but I caught the last 15mins of it when he came out and the blonde boy freaked out cause he said he had a crush on him. All I can say is he can do better! ;)

Light-Bearer

Light-Bearer said on the 10th Aug, 2010

I know that blonde boy is such a turd.

He looks so camp and in the closet that he's having adventures in Narnia.

When's he gonna come out?

andrewc

andrewc said on the 10th Aug, 2010

Next Twinks r us party I suppose?

Light-Bearer

Light-Bearer said on the 10th Aug, 2010

It did get all dramatic though and I thought the teacher was gonna try to touch him.

But then I realised it wasn't a Catholic school

jackster

jackster said on the 11th Aug, 2010

A great charachter and story line, I certainly feel for this charachter, its not that easy... and he is damm smokin hot i would so date him

badamj2000

badamj2000 said on the 11th Aug, 2010

OMG, does this mean I will have to start watching Neighbours?!! There aren't enough hours in my day.

andrewc

andrewc said on the 11th Aug, 2010

I think I'm developing a thing for Toadie! He's startin to look good!

Light-Bearer

Light-Bearer said on the 11th Aug, 2010

MEEE TOOOOOO

it's the meth

dougie69

dougie69 said on the 13th Aug, 2010


That's just what I was thinking

dougie69

dougie69 said on the 13th Aug, 2010


I agree but I just hope he doesn't become a "barely there" gay. He is hot.

badamj2000

badamj2000 said on the 15th Aug, 2010

YOu know I cant approve of "smoking".

badamj2000

badamj2000 said on the 15th Aug, 2010

What have they done to Kylie and Jason? They were such a nice couple.

andrewc

andrewc said on the 15th Aug, 2010

MEEE TOOOOOO

it's the meth

Looks like he took that other drug:

http://success.liteneasy.com.au/index.php/success-stories/ryan-moloney/

this is disturbing!

sputnik sweetheart

sputnik sweetheart said on the 16th Aug, 2010

I think Chris telling his uber straight male friend that he has a crush on him was totally taking it in a wrong direction.

Isn't that what homophobic straight males are most scared of??/

pioneer_to_the_falls

pioneer_to_the_falls said on the 16th Aug, 2010

he'll realise the error of his ways sputnik... it'll turn into a typical lovey dovey 'moral' story of not judging a book by hits cover...

Light-Bearer

Light-Bearer said on the 16th Aug, 2010

Or blow him in the bike sheds.

Dion

Dion said on the 17th Aug, 2010

Chris has gone quiet, last week, appeared in Mon/Tues/Wed nights, but no further appearance Thur/Fri/Mon/Tues, what will Wednesday bring?